Friday of the 25th Week of the Year

Luke 9:18-22

Peter’s Confession

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

What answers do these questions aim at getting? A. What do the crowds say that I am? B. But you – who do you say that I am?

The same person, Jesus Christ, posed these questions to the same audience, his disciples. By his first question, Jesus was obviously trying to get a report, feedbacks. By his second, he was aiming at personal conviction, personal belief on the part of his disciples. And indeed he got either one of them.

Jesus must have regarded this moment as truly crucial: this moment when he asked his disciples a most personal answer. That was usual with him: very significant moments in his life were preceded or accompanied, by moments of prayer to his Father.

Isn’t Jesus teaching us what we should do in our own significant moments? Isn’t he pointing out that prayer should be an expression of the prayer’s utter dependence on God? Usually, Simon Peter was the spokesman of the Twelve. But as spokesman, he did not always say the right thing. There were times when he made stupid remarks. On this particular occasion, however, when he gave his reply to Jesus’ question, he was at his best: “The Messiah of God,” he said.

Peter was not echoing what others said to Jesus. He was listening to his own heart, prompted by an inspiration from way beyond him.

“Messiah” is from the Hebrew word the equivalent of which in Greek is Christos, in English, Christ or the anointed one. In the gospel according to Luke, Jesus is Savior, he is the one who frees human beings from sin and from any sinful condition.

At this moment in our life as a nation, we would do well to make Peter’s profession of faith our own. In the Messiah of God alone is the fulfilment of our hopes. (Fr. Cornelio Alpuerto, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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It is a fact that most people tend to judge others based on impressions. As a consequence, many people accept that “first impression lasts.” Contrary to this, experience has taught us that impressions are neither right nor wrong. Instead, they could be used as tools in achieving the desired truth. But first, they should be verified so that biases and doubts are further clarified.

This is precisely the reason why Jesus asks peter who He is. The crowd seems to have been confused about the identity of Jesus because they only know Him from second-hand sources. Their faith is neither firm nor weak. Their indirect encounter with the lord leads them to a doubtful claim that Jesus is neither John the Baptist nor Elijah nor one of the prophets.

Peter’s confession is a declaration of an authentic faith experience. Through his personal encounter with Jesus, Peter’s faith has been deepened and strengthened.

In our day to day life, we are also invited to nurture our relationship with the Lord so as to deepen this relationship with Him. By living out the demands of the gospel constantly, our personal experience of his presence could help us achieve what Peter had confessed that Jesus indeed is the “Messiah of God. “ (Fr. Roger Solis, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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No doubt few Christians will have to proclaim the words-”You are the Christ” unto death on a cross like Peter. But all Christians must carry a cross every day of their lives and be ready to die on it. Concretely this means that we cannot be the disciples of a crucified man without accepting to be like our Master in everyday life. When Peter tells Jesus that he is the Christ, Peter is also stating in other words that apart from Jesus no other Messiah is to be expected.

The Messiah has already come; we must not expect another one. This Messiah did not want to transform the world in a moment, like a magician, letting us play the role of passive spectators looking on with wonder and awe. Jesus wanted to enter completely in the sufferings of the world, bear our sickness, our sorrows, our crimes. And he invites us to actively become other Messiahs like him by giving our lives for our brothers and sisters, day after day. This is for us the only way by which, through the strength of the Spirit who renews the face of the earth, we can transform the world around us. We must then have the courage of repeating Peter’s confession: “You are the Christ. I want that, concretely for me, in my life, you really be the Anointed One of God, the One whose disciple I will forever be.”

This faith in Christ and this participation in his cross mysteriously transform the whole life of the believer as well as the life of Christian communities. A new light brightens their life, a new warmth gladdens their heart Like their Master, the Christians in turn become a cause of wonder to the world. The way we live should make the non-Catholic or the lukewarm Catholics stop and ask with astonishment where we have thus learned to live in love and to suffer in joy.

“My Spirit Continues in Your Midst; Do Not Fear!”

It is difficult for us to imagine what the destruction of the Jerusalem temple at the time of the Exile meant for the Jewish people. We might be tempted to equate it with the destruction of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome-the destruction of a large, beautiful and highly symbolic structure. Yet, despite its size, beauty and symbolism, St. Peter’s is still one of countless churches throughout the world. There was only one temple. And that temple was the place of the encounter with the Living God. No other place on earth was like it. Where was God, if this place had been destroyed?

The words of the prophet Haggai, then, must have offered quite a healing balm: “My spirit continues in your midst; do not fear!” The fidelity of God would see them through even this unimaginable crisis. Though the temple had been destroyed, the spirit of God remained in their midst; the temple would be rebuilt.

As Christians we name that spirit the “Holy Spirit” and the promise of that Spirit’s presence offers us a particular consolation: “Hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Rom 5, 5). The words of Haggai now point to a new and deeper truth: The Holy Spirit continues not only in our midst but within our very hearts! And that provides grounds for great hope.

“Where is God?” we cry out in moments of pain. The feeling of abandonment by God finds us all from time to time. Haggai’s encouragement points us to this new and even deeper truth: even in places of pain, the Holy Spirit of God, the Consoler, continues to dwell with us. Today’s invitation is to let that truth meet our pain and so allow this promise to console us with new hope. (Rev. Rich Gabuzda)

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The question, “Who do you say that I am?” often served as introductory part in most retreats and recollections we handled as seminarians. Oftentimes I got satisfying responses from different groups. But there was one occasion when a first year student caught me by surprise with his moving story about God.

During the group sharing, the boy suddenly burst into tears while narrating his unforgettable experiences in life. His stepfather had been maltreating him since he was in first grade. He was forced to go to their farm every morning with an empty stomach to tend their swine, goats and cows. He would spend more time working in the farm than in school. As a consequence, he can barely read and write even if he had already completed elementary. He was just lucky because his elementary teachers out of pity allowed him to pass by giving him the lowest passing grade. His mother couldn’t do anything to stop these abuses due to financial constraints. His unschooled mother was a plain homemaker and widowed at a young age so she was forced to marry his stepmother. This boy has been very disturbed physically, emotionally and psychologically throughout his life. But when asked who Jesus was for him, he firmly said, “He is my hope, my everything.”

How many of us have experienced tragedies in life yet unable to be firm in our commitment to Christ? How many of us who have been struck with challenging problems would simply stop going to Church because of the feeling that God had abandoned us? The boy reminds us of the disposition of the early Christians that despite everything that happened to them, they were still able to cling to the one who gives them strength and conviction. How lucky that boy is to have that faith. That simple encounter with the boy made me evaluate my relationship with God. The question, “Who do you say that I am?” will always be significant part of my religious missionary journey. (Fr. Roger Solis, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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For the Chinese, 8 is a lucky number and so in the last Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 it was formally opened 8 minutes before 8pm on the 8th day of 8th month of 2008. Five 8’s – what a lucky combination! It is as if the success of the games depends on the alignment of numbers, but no matter how perfectly the lucky stars are aligned or even how professionally things are well prepared they say in real life bad things happen, bad things come, and bad people come. There is no such thing as a perfect world, as well as a perfect life.

Obviously this is the idea that I see in the gospel today. When we confess that Jesus is the Messiah of God, we believe in death and resurrection.  We believe that bad things can happen in life. Disappointments and frustrations come along the way. Abandonment and denial of a friend are expected to happen. Trials, problems and difficulties are there to confront us. And crosses will always be part of our following of Jesus. However, believing in Him we will surely overcome all those things. Bad people won’t have the last laugh. Nothing bad, even death, is ever final. Only the love and power of the risen Lord will prevail, because God is a sure winner (Fr. Eliseo Yyance, SVD Bible Diary 2012)

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September 23 2016 Friday

“Who is Jesus?” for Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, is the fundamental question for Christology. This question facilitates the theological interpretation of Jesus Christ, clarifying systematically who and what he is in himself and for those who believe in him.

Mark, in our gospel today, narrates a similar question raised by Jesus to Peter and the other disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” Peter who acted as spokesman for the disciples replied with a short but solemn profession of faith: “The Messiah of God.” This question purposely directs us to the heart of Christian discipleship: Jesus Christ. We believe that our vocation and mission in life is always founded on our faith in Jesus Christ. Believing in him primarily entails knowing him.

What does ‘knowing’ Jesus entail? The Catechism for Filipino Catholics (CFC) teaches us the presuppositions of knowing Jesus: First, we must recognize that to really know him is a life-long task.

It is life-long because only in him do we come to know our true selves, and the deepest meaning and direction of our lives. Second, it is a living, changing, growing and deepening experience. Third, it means being committed to following him as his disciples, following to the cross. (CFC 470-473) For Pope Francis, to know Jesus means to encounter. It is necessary to get to know Jesus in our encounter with Him in prayer. To pray is to get involved with him. If we do not pray, if we do not have a personal encounter with him, then we do not know Him. We will know only things about Jesus but not Jesus himself. And if we do not know him, we cannot love him at all. (Fr. Jhonatan A. Letada, SVD CKMS, Quezon City Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/903-september-23-2016-friday

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No doubt few Christians will have to proclaim the words-”You are the Christ” unto death on a cross like Peter. But all Christians must carry a cross every day of their lives and be ready to die on it. Concretely this means that we cannot be the disciples of a crucified man without accepting to be like our Master in everyday life. When Peter tells Jesus that he is the Christ, Peter is also stating in other words that apart from Jesus no other Messiah is to be expected.

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Friday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time (Year C) – Lucas 9:18-22. Unsa may kalainan ning duha ka pangutana – “Sumala sa mga tawo, kinsa man ako?” ug “Para kaninyo, kinsa man ako?” Ang unang pangutana buot magtuki sa mga inpormasyon nga makuha sa usa ka tinun-an mahitungod kang Cristo gikan sa laing mga tawo. Sa Ingles gitawag kini og “conceptual knowledge”, nga pwedeng maangkon pinaagi sa pagpaminaw ug pagbasa. Ang ikaduhang pangutana buot mahibalo sa personal nga kasinati-an sa usa ka tinun-an uban kang Cristo. Gitawag nila kini og “experiential knowledge”, nga makab-ot lamang pinaagi sa makanunayong pagpakig-uban sa Ginoo diha sa pag-ampo ug sa pagbuhat sa Iyang apostolado. Kini nga matang sa kahibalo ang mas bililhon tungod kay dinhi maila nga ang tinun-an higala gayod ni Cristo. (Fr. Abet Uy)

abetuy.blogspot.com/2013/09/friday-of-25th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

FRIDAY OF THE 25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 9:18-22. UNSA MAY KALAINAN NING DUHA KA PANGUTANA – “SUMALA SA MGA TAWO, KINSA MAN AKO?” UG “PARA KANINYO, KINSA MAN AKO?” Ang unang pangutana magtuki sa nasayran sa tinun-an mahitungod kang Kristo gikan sa laing mga tawo. Sa Pilosopiya gitawag kini og “conceptual knowledge”, nga maangkon pinaagi sa pagpaminaw, pagbasa, ug pagtuon. Ang ikaduha buot mahibalo sa personal nga kasinati-an sa tinun-an uban kang Kristo. Gitawag kini og “experiential knowledge”, nga makab-ot pinaagi sa makanunayong pagpakig-uban sa Ginoo diha sa pag-ampo, pagpamalandong, ug pagbuhat sa Iyang kasugoan. Kini nga matang sa kahibalo ang mas bililhon tungod kay dinhi maila nga ang tinun-an tinuod nga higala ni Kristo. Our task as Christians is not only to know about God, but to know God personally and to become His friend. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/09/friday-of-25th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection for Friday September 26, Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 9:18-22 Reflection: If Jesus would ask us, who am I to you? How would we answer Him? Would we answer based on what we know about Jesus or we answer Him in a much profound manner like you are my Lord and my God and I feel your abiding presence in my life everyday.

We must not limit our knowledge about Jesus to what we read or up to what only our minds would feed us. We must dive deeper than that in such a way that Jesus is already part and parcel of our daily lives. This only means that we read and live His teachings.

We become more productive followers of Jesus if we read and live His teachings because this would open us to a much deeper intimacy with Him. If we only read or hear and we don’t live His teachings our discipleship is lacking in substance.

We have to know Jesus and then we have to live Jesus these two (Know and live Jesus) must always go together. For it will help us endure the many trials/even sufferings that we would be facing as we exist in this world.

Do you live the teachings of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/09/reflection-for-friday-september-26.html

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reflection for September 25, Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 9:18-22

Reflection: Why does Jesus always reminds his disciples about his impending sufferings? Why not keep His sufferings only to Himself? Come to think of it if Jesus had concealed suffering from His disciples He could have attracted more disciples. But Jesus did not lie to them, He did not sugar coat His words to attract them.  He was honest and He laid down everything to them.

Many of us don’t want to talk of sufferings when following Jesus. However the moment we take away sufferings then there’s no more authentic discipleship for Jesus. This is for the reason that discipleship without going through suffering is fake discipleship.

How could we have a clearer picture of Jesus if we wouldn’t go through pains and sufferings? How could we know Jesus more deeply if we are not willing to suffer for Him? If we say that we follow Jesus and we are afraid of sufferings then we are not really a follower. We are simply bystanders who don’t care much about the mission of Jesus.

As they say, No Pain No Gain if we relate this with our discipleship with Jesus. it now becomes, No Pain No Date in Heaven with Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/09/reflection-for-september-25-friday-of.html

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reflection for Friday September 23, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest; Luke 9:18-22

Reflection: Do you live the teachings of Jesus?

When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” they were unsure, some said that He was John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen. Then He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”

If Jesus will ask us, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” I don’t know if we will be able to answer at all. Because unlike the disciples who walked and lived with Jesus and who shared and preached the word of God. We may not have preached and shared Him it yet.

What if He will also say to us, “But who do you say that I am?” Would we be able to reply like Peter who said with conviction, “The Christ of God.”

These are two simple questions from Jesus that invites us to examine if we have a personal relationship with Him. If we don’t have it yet let us implore the guidance of the Holy Spirit who is ever ready to bring us closer to Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/09/reflection-for-friday-september-23.html

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Pope Francis, today, during morning Mass: “How many Christians live for appearances? Their life seems like a soap bubble. The soap bubble is beautiful, with all its colours! But it lasts only a second, and then what? Even when we look at some funeral monuments, we feel it’s vanity, because the truth is returning to the bare earth, as the Servant of God Paul VI said. The bare earth awaits us, this is our final truth. In the meantime, do I boast or do I do something? Do I do good? Do I seek God? Do I pray? Substantial things.”

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September 25, 2015

Friday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time

Hg 2:1-9, Lk 9:18-22

Work Is Divine

Prophet Haggai continues to call the people Israel to action. He asks them to have a look at the ruins of the temple and remember its ancient glory. He tells Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and Joshua, the high priest, not to get disheartened. The prophet asks both the political as well as the religious heads to exercise their leadership and make the people WORK. The present situation may be dismal and depressing. All that they need to do is to have confidence and WORK. Haggai reminds them of the ancient pact that Yahweh made with the people of Israel. “For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts. This is the pact that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, and my spirit continues in your midst; do not fear!” Yahweh promises his wholehearted support in the rebuilding of the temple. “I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. Mine is the silver and mine the gold, says the LORD of hosts. Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former.” However Yahweh lays a condition, the people should WORK for that to happen.

Work is divine. It was the scholastic theologian, Thomas Aquinas who defined God as pure act (Deus est purus actus, non habens aliquid de potentialitate  – Sum. Th. I, 3, 2c). When we engage in work we are partaking in the divine essence. Those who refuse to work and remain lazy are exploiting others. St Paul writes to Thessalonians, “For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.  Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread” (2 Thes 3:11-12). If we look at Jesus we can see how diligent he was. He even claimed, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (Jn 4:34). When Peter professed the true identity of Jesus as “The Christ of God”, Jesus rebuked him and reminded them of the pending works he has to accomplish, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” Our success and failure in life as a child of God is totally dependent on how committed are we in carrying our daily WORK. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-09-25

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Friday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time

Eccl 3: 1-11; Lk 9: 18-22

WHO IS JESUS FOR ME

If Jesus asks us the same question he had asked Peter what answer will we able to give him? “Who am I for you?” From our childhood onwards our parents, catechism teachers, the priests and friends have spoken to us about Jesus. We might have read articles and books written on Jesus by different authors. Some of us might have watched the movie, Jesus of Nazareth or Passion of Christ. The information collected from different sources cannot give us a definite answer. The information can only help us to find an answer. Each one of us has to find out an answer through contemplation and this contemplation is an ongoing process.  It is not necessary that all of us express our answers in the same words. Expressions of our answers can be different depending on the way we understand the person of Jesus.

For me Jesus is a person who has shown me the way to find meaning for and fulfilment in my life. He is the role model for me and he is the one who strengthens me in my life’s journey. The way to find meaning in life is love, love that can be expressed in different ways: forgiveness, compassion, sensitivity, sacrifice etc. Love is ultimately giving, giving without expecting anything in return. That is why Jesus gave us the commandment of love as his parting message, “My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give life for them”.  Jesus told his disciples that they will be judged at the end of life on the basis of the practice of love: compassion and sensitivity to the needy (Mt. 25:31-46).

Jesus once told his disciples that those who call him, “Lord, Lord” will not enter the kingdom of God, but those who do the will of God; and doing the will of God is nothing but selfless love of other human persons, going beyond the boundaries of family ties, religion, caste, nationality etc. Jesus has shown me how to expand the horizon of love and practice inclusive love. Very often I am caught up in the narrow identities like, province, congregation, Catholic, Christian, Syrian, Latin etc. and I am not able to  transcend these narrow identities. The prayer I recite several times a day, OUR FATHER, is an invitation to be inclusive and to have a wider vision of my mission.

Jesus is a role model for me in maximizing the Divine in me. Jesus because of his constant contact with his Father could be always conscious of the Divine within him and maximize the Divine. That is why when he responded to the needs of the people miracles happened; he could speak with authority; and even he could blast the powerful Jewish religious leaders: the Scribes and Pharisees.  The extraordinary courage, sensitivity, forgiveness and compassion were the result of his maximizing the Divine within him. Jesus has promised his disciples that if they have faith in the Divine they could do greater things than the master, Jesus.

Reflection and contemplation on the person of Jesus and his words and deeds will help me and guide me to become a practitioner of inclusive love. At the end of each day before I go to sleep I have to ask myself: have I been honest, just, compassionate and inclusive? For me these are the practical dimensions of the way of love. Reflection and contemplation on the Divine within me will help me to maximize the Divine within me and do things that I never dreamt of doing. Fr. Jacob Peenikaparambil CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-09-23

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THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY – Three priests and a nun were debating on a theological question. The three priests agreed on the matter while the nun was by her lonesome. The sister, a very holy nun, prayed to God for a rainbow as a sign that she was right. Right there and then, a rainbow appeared in the sky. The sister proclaimed, “You see I’m right!” “Not so quick, sister,” one of the priests quickly retorted, “it’s still three against one.” The sister prayed for another sign. This time God Himself spoke through the clouds and with a loud booming voice said, “Sister is right!” “Well?” the sister asked. The three priests looked at one another and glanced around, and finally one says, “OK, so it’s three to two!”

Today in the Gospel, Jesus asked for an opinion poll. The responses were many and varied — and wrong. Then Peter spoke, “You are the Messiah of God.” He was alone but Peter got it right. Truth is truth even if no one believes it and error is error even if everybody believes it.

When Pope Benedict XVI visited the UK and Scotland, he spoke many times about the convenient seduction of relativism, i.e., the view that truth is relative, it depends on what I think and feel — to each his own. Relativists  will maintain that “there is no truth!” to which we should reply, “Is that true?” Relativists will counter, “Well, if there is truth, you cannot know it,” to which we should reply, “How do you know?” Finally, the relativists will argue, “Well, if one can know, one can never be sure,” to which we should ask, “Are you sure?”

Maybe you have heard the phrase that goes, “The Church is not and cannot be democracy.” This does not mean that the Church operates like a tyrant. In the area of faith and morals, truth is determined by the wise use of reason reflecting on the natural moral law. Truth is served by consulting the legitimate sources of moral and doctrinal wisdom like the Scriptures, the sacred tradition, and the works of theologians. Truth is served by the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, who was promised by Jesus Himself to Peter and the disciples and their legitimate successors. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Where and how do you search for the truths of the faith and of God? Do you simply go with the flow?

Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church. You do not wish us to stray from Your truth. Make me a voracious and courageous seeker of Your truth. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-09-23

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September 23, 2016

REFLECTION: In today’s first reading, an excerpt from the Book of Ecclesiastes, we hear this wise man tell us that there is a time for everything and, among other things, “a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Perhaps we could reflect on this last statement.

Silence is a condition of creativity, of deep prayer, of the attainment of wisdom. Silence is also needed to keep secrets told to us in confidence, to protect other people’s reputation, to keep oneself from indulging in petty quarrels, etc.

But silence has limits. There are times when we must speak up. One of them is surely when we must express our religious convictions, sometimes running great risks in the process, as in times of religious persecution, for example (cf. 2 Cor 4:13; Acts 4:20). Another instance when speaking is imperative when too much silence can ruin a marriage. Some marriages die simply from lack of communication. Another time to speak is to denounce wrongdoing. If I am a witness to a wrongdoing and do not protest against it, I become its accomplice because silence gives consent. We should not be silent when we witness, for example, child abuse, battered wives, bullying of any kind, vicious gossip, political tyranny, etc.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3652-september-23-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the 25th Week of the Year

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